The Padres have avoided arbitration with outfielder Seth Smith, the club announced on Twitter. Smith will earn $4.5MM, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (via Twitter). MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz had projected that Smith would merit a $4.3MM salary in his final trip through arbitration.
The 31-year-old hit .253/.329/.391 in 410 plate appearances last year in Oakland, including eight long balls. He had hit at least 14 home runs in each of the previous four seasons, though three of those were spent at homer-prone Coors Field. Smith has been most attractive in a platoon role throughout his career, posting a lifetime .844 OPS against righties and just a .582 OPS versus same-handed hurlers.
San Diego acquired Smith from the Athletics back in December, in exchange for reliever Luke Gregerson. As MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker shows, the Pads have reached agreement with three arb-eligible players (Tim Stauffer and Eric Stults, in addition to Smith) and have six more to go: Kyle Blanks, Everth Cabrera, Andrew Cashner, Chase Headley, Ian Kennedy, and Tyson Ross. Swartz projects that group to command a total of $22.7MM, on top of the $8.85MM that the club has already committed through arbitration this year.